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Public Health Care Systems Laud Governor Newsom’s Commitment to Supporting the Health Care Safety Net and Key Investments in Medi-Cal 

OAKLAND, CA, January 10, 2022 – Today, Governor Newsom announced the FY 2022-2023 Budget proposal, which creates an important process to strengthen public health care system financing. Also included in the budget are key investments for the Medi-Cal program, funding to support COVID 19 response efforts, and support for the health care workforce.

“California’s 21 public health care systems have long-faced structural financing challenges,” said Erica Murray, President and CEO, California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH). “The gap has only continued to widen and will become unsustainable in several years. We are pleased that the State has acknowledged this crisis and is committed to working with us to develop a solution. We thank the Administration for their partnership and support.”

Also, included in the Governor’s 2022-23 Budget proposal is $2.8 billion for the upcoming fiscal year to implement California’s recently approved CalAIM initiatives. To better integrate services and address the social determinants of health, CalAIM will build upon the work begun by Whole Person Care pilots, which had been led by public health care systems and counties over the last six years.

“California’s public health care systems have long cared for complex and at-risk patient populations and serve as a lynchpin for the success of the Governor’s CalAIM proposals,” said Murray. “While many details are still being worked out, we will continue to partner with the State on this critically important effort.”

Public health care systems also continue to play an integral role in the state’s COVID-19 response, particularly for low-income communities of color. “As we face new surges and workforce shortages, additional resources and supports are critical,” said Murray. “We appreciate the Governor’s investment to help hospitals respond to these needs, as well as ongoing funding for local public health jurisdictions and other investments to support continued pandemic response efforts. Public health care systems will continue to work side-by-side with their county partners to serve and protect communities.”

The Governor also proposed a $1.7 billion investment over three years to support the health care workforce. “The health care workforce is in an extreme crisis. We appreciate the State’s commitment to addressing the dire workforce shortages health care providers face. We look forward to learning more about these investments and working with the State as they are developed,” said Murray.

The Governor’s Budget also includes a historic investment to cover all income-eligible people in the Medi-Cal program, regardless of immigration status.

“Public health care systems play a critical, often lifesaving, role in serving the uninsured,” said Murray. “We are excited to see California leading the way to ensure that all people have equitable access to coverage, which will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of patients and their families.”